Every human being is a work in progress. No one ever stops changing or growing, but we often forget that, especially when it comes to politics.
Partisans will never be as forgiving to their opponents as they are to their allies. If Ralph Northam was a Republican, every left-wing publication in the nation would have relentlessly attacked him until he stepped down. Same thing would happen to this second-in-command, Justin Fairfax. Conversely, if Obama had been caught on tape as a candidate talking about grabbing a woman’s private parts, Republicans would have sought to impeach him the moment he stepped into the White House.
But that’s how politics has always been. Doesn’t matter what kind of person you are now; what matters is who you were at your worst moments in life. Those are the moments your opponents will use to try and define you, even if the person you are now isn’t remotely similar to the person you used to be.
As for me, I happen to agree with you. In fact, I tend to prefer leaders who have screwed up badly, learned from it, and became better people because of it.